The next-generation i30 is expected to arrive in Australia in mid 2012. Photo Gallery
Chris Riley road tests and reviews the new Hyundai i30 at its Australian launch
The new i30 is the first of Hyundai's new genre to move to a second generation and just like the first i30 the newcomer is a standout. It looks fresh and attractive, with the same flowing lines as the Elantra sedan, and a stylish new interior that is a huge step forward from its functional but rather plain predecessor. The i30 is Hyundai's biggest selling car and it competes in the mostly fiercely contested segment of the market.
Priced from $20,990 the new i30 the entry point is $400 more than the current model but represents $1600 better value, with a longer list of standard features.
There's a choice of petrol and turbo diesel engines, six-speed manual or six-speed auto transmissions and two of the three new grades - Active, Elite and Premium - are fitted with satellite navigation as standard.
THE OLD ONE
The i30 has been a huge success for Hyundai. It's currently the number four small car in Australia, behind the Mazda3, Toyota Corolla and Holden Cruze. The company really turned a corner with this one and hasn't really looked back since.
THE NEW ONE
The restyled body brings it into line with the "fluidic'' design that characterises Hyundai's other offerings.
The front is sharper and more aggressive with a dominant hexagonal radiator grille, and those huge taillights have gone from the rear, replaced by a more contemporary horizontal design.
The entry Active model is priced from $20, 990, Elite from $24,590 and Premium from $29,990.
Standard kit includes cruise control, fog lamps, rear parking sensors and a touch screen audio system, with Bluetooth, USB and steering wheel audio controls. A reversing camera is standard on Elite and Premium models.
The new i30 looks, feels and is significantly better inside, with greater use of soft touch surfaces. The free standing console is reminiscent of Volvo. We're told there's more room inside the cabin, along with 10 per cent more luggage space. Surprisingly however the new model has 10mm less rear legroom.
It's a touch screen with bright easy-to-read graphics and SUNA traffic updates that route you around traffic snarls automatically. Unlike other manufacturers, Hyundai has also done the right thing and included warnings for speed cameras and other road hazards.
It's designed to score five stars for safety with seven airbags standard across the range and a full complement of safety systems, but is yet to be tested.
Unfortunately the new range will not include a wagon. Production of the i30cw as it is called has been moved to Hyundai's plant in the Czech Republic making it unavailable to our market. This could change down the track as the initial demand for the new model eases freeing up production time. We'll see.
The 1.6-litre CRDi turbo diesel carries over from the previous model, along with the six speed manual. The good news is that the old four-speed has been replaced a brand new six-speed auto.
As before, the diesel puts out 94kW of power and 260Nm of torque, but the switch to the new auto is going to produce better fuel efficiency. The diesel returns a claimed 4.5 litres/100km in manual form and 5.6 litres/100km in auto form.
The 2.0-litre petrol engine has been replaced by the 1.8-litre multipoint injection unit from the Elantra. In Europe the car is offered with a 99kW 1.6-litre four with direct injection but Hyundai felt this was too modest for our tastes and our roads.
The 1.8 is smaller and misses out on direct injection but it actually produces more power than before. Torque however is down. It produces of 110 versus 105kW of power and 178 versus 186Nm of torque. The petrol returns a claimed 6.5 litres/100km in manual form and 6.9 litres/100km in auto form.
Overseas the diesel will also be offered in Blue Drive trim, with fuel saving technology such as Integrated Stop & Go (ISG), low-rolling resistance tyres and an alternator management system. Unfortunately we won't be getting this model.
Three cheers. Hyundai has confirmed it is looking at introducing a sports model, not just with this model but across the entire line-up. The segment-leading Mazda3 comes in SP25 and MPS forms and to compete Hyundai needs to offer an alternative.
The i30 sport or whatever they decide to call it could be fitted with the 130kW 2.0-litre direct injection engine or the 150kW 1.6-litre turbo from Veloster. At this stage however there is not time frame for its introduction - but they say they're looking seriously at the proposition.
We had a crack at the mid-priced, Elite petrol manual model and top of the line Premium diesel auto at the launch in Victoria this week. The petrol model is quiet and refined and not surprisingly reminds us of the Elantra with which it shares a platform.
But it feels breathless at times, particularly under load and it is necessary to go looking for third to get it really moving. A tiny bit more power would be welcome. We look forward to trying the auto when it is available. With the addition of the six-speed auto, the diesel is a much better thing than before.
It offers strong performance and is the one you want if you regularly clock up the kilometres, but it costs $2600 more in any of the three grades. The auto is a $2000 option, but standard with the Premium.
The diesel variant feels heavier in the front end, with heavier steering. But that's where the new Flex Steer system comes into its own. Overkill -- but standard across the range -- it provides a choice of styles: Comfort, Normal and Sport. They provide varying levels of steering assistance and feedback to the driver. Unfortunately, there is no option to display the vehicle's speed digitally - a rare oversight in an otherwise comprehensive package.
The i30 has a 53-litre tank and takes standard unleaded. We recorded a figure of 7.4 litres/100km for the petrol model on the drive program and 5.9 litres/100km for the diesel over a combined distance of about 250km.
Hyundai just doesn't seem able to put a foot wrong these days. If you like the current i30 you're going to love the new one. It does everything the old one does and more, with a quality, big car feel and more lavish interior.
Like its predecessor the suspension has been tuned for Aussie roads and Aussie tastes, with an impressive ride spoiled only by the larger 17 inch wheels on the Premium model.
2012 Hyundai i30
Engines: 1.8-litre petrol engine, 105kW/186Nm (1.6-litre CRDi turbo diesel, 94kW/260Nm)
Transmission: six speed manual, six speed auto
Thirst: petrol 6.9 litres/100km (diesel 6.4 litres/100km)
Price: from $20,990
Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cylinder, 100kW/175Nm
Transmission: 5-speed manual, FWD
Thirst: 7.3L/100km, 171g/km CO2
Price: from $20,330
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder,108kW/182Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual, FWD
Thirst: 7.9L/100km, 187g/km CO2
Holden Cruze CDX
Price: from $21,490
Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cylinder, 104kW/176Nm
Transmission: 5-speed manual, FWD
Thirst: 7.0L/100Km, 166g/km CO2